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Low Down's ultrasound availability under review:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The nuchal translucency test used in antenatal screening to help assess the risk of Down's syndrome is available in only 8% of UK maternity units, says the government. Wider availability of the ultrasound scanning technique, in combination with first trimester blood serum screening is being "kept under review", health secretary Jacqui Smith maintains. Current screening policy, as advocated by the National Screening Committee (NSC), is that all women be offered second trimester serum screening, consisting of at least a double test - ie screening for two markers. The NSC also recommends moving "towards triple or quadruple tests when possible," Ms Smith told Parliament last week.

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